Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Response to "Stop Executions of Innocent People"

I was extremely moved by Liz's blog post. The death penalty is undeniably more popular in Texas, but I think it's time we rethink our forms of punishment. I cannot imagine being injected with a lethal substance for something that I was wrongly convicted of. That would be a terrible demise. Evidence and DNA testing now shows that people have been wrongly convicted of serious crimes. 

In my opinion, if one were a true convict, it would be more of a punishment to be locked up in prison to recount ones actions than to die quickly by lethal injection. If a person were incorrectly sentenced to life in prison and DNA testing deems them innocent, they still have a chance to be free. Those who die by lethal injection would not get the chance to be freed from the conviction during their lifetime. It is cruel not to give these innocent people a chance when the only "chance" they get is a trial run by humans who just want to convict someone, despite their innocence. 

Despite the execution being a relatively quicker sentence than a life sentence, it is far from a pleasant experience. It isn't even painless. They're given chemicals to anesthetize their bodies, relax the muscles, and to stop the heart. Undergoing asphyxiation, severe burning sensations, and massive muscle cramping which ultimately leads to cardiac arrest, especially without anesthesia, can be considered cruel and unusual punishment. 

Putting a stop to such a severe use of the death penalty would give the innocent a chance to be released some time in the future due to surfacing evidence or DNA evidence. It's hard to say no to the death penalty for those who have committed murders themselves, but it's also scary to think about when you put yourself in the innocent convict's shoes. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Meningitis Vaccination

From a future health care provider's prospective, I feel compelled to support the entirety of the meningitis vaccine law, especially after a student from our very own Texas A&M passed away after contracting bacterial meningitis. Because the law concerning meningitis vaccination applied only to those who lived in on-campus dorms, he did not get vaccinated. The response is the requirement of students to get the vaccine. However, opponents are looking to tweak the law, as certain regulations that are the best for one school may not be what is good for another. 

Despite my ties to the medical field, I feel that though the vaccination should be strongly urged by the university, the decision to get the vaccine should ultimately be left up to the student and the family. I do believe that the meningitis vaccination is something that every student should be quick to get because the the effects are devastating. If one who contracts meningitis survives, they run the risk of after effects such as nervous system disorders and seizures or strokes. By getting the vaccine, one can lower the risk of spreading the disease to others who may not be vaccinated.

However there are those who oppose the vaccination mandate for religious or philosophical reasons. Whatever the reason, I believe that if you choose not to get the vaccine, it is your decision and you are therefore putting yourself at risk. Students should be fully informed of the risks, though, so that they understand the dangers of meningitis and are aware of the effects.

The meningoccocal vaccine is something that I fully support, as it minimizes one's risks of contracting bacterial meningitis and therefore can save a life. The state is implementing its power to help save lives and families. With the opposition though, especially the opposition to putting a substance into your body, I respect the idea that the decision--being fully aware of the risks at hand--be left up to the student and the family. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Response to "Welfare and Drug Testing"

Honestly, I think you are jumping to conclusions when your statements assume that those on welfare are jobless and that they have put themselves in that position. Florida has implemented a law similar to the one you are very adamant about, and the results show that there are no tangible savings, did little to deter drug users, and there was an insignificant effect on the number of applicants for welfare.

Oftentimes, the common drug detected is marijuana, which is a ridiculous reason to call for statewide drug tests for since marijuana is much safer than alcohol anyway. One of the many examples is that while the CDC has recorded that 37,000 people die annually from alcohol use, the number of deaths by marijuana use is zero. I'm not saying that it is okay to use welfare money to buy more drugs, but drug testing is a poor method to lower the money spent on welfare. 

If you want to spend the state's welfare money on those who actually need it, you should be more concerned about welfare fraud. Too many people hide their income so that they appear to be living in poverty or very poor conditions. This grants them eligibility to receive welfare while they add that governmental money to their hidden income. 

Lastly, you assert that these drug tests will not increase federal spending. There are 333,435 people on welfare and it costs $12 per person, which equals a grand total of $4,001,220 for the implementation of a law that has proven to not work. What we must be holding our citizens responsible for is something like welfare fraud, not for this generalization that those on welfare are jobless and drug addicts. Besides, there are ways that drug users (if they are desperate enough to obtain welfare money) to pass drug tests

Classmate's Blog stage 5 post: